Do you want to run your business, practically speaking, forever?
Maybe not, like, forever forever, but you know what I mean. As long as you want to.
My favorite economic principle is called Stein’s Law, which Arthur C. Brooks, in his book From Strength to Strength, summed up as: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”
It. Will. Stop.
I know, I know—that’s a huge bummer. But it’s worth considering!
For instance, can you keep spending as much as you are now on marketing, forever?
If not, that suggests something about its ability to pay you back in sales. Theoretically, your marketing spend should pay for itself. Practically, it rarely does.
Can you keep posting on social media as often as you are now, forever?
How excited are you to hop on LinkedIn or TikTok every day? If the answer is: “Not excited,” you’re counting down the days to finally just… not. But perhaps there’s a type of content you’d actually like making?
Can you keep doing cold outreach, sales calls, and coffee meetings at this pace, forever?
If not, then when will you stop, and will it be your choice? Live by the cold call… well, live by the cold call. But some would argue that’s simply no way to live.
Marketing that works is sustainable. Marketing that isn’t sustainable doesn’t work. Nothing is clearer to me than that.
So before you do anything, ask: Can I do this forever?
If not, consider not doing it at all, and choosing something you can—and would want to—do forever instead.